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Then Grace Appeared



"11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." 
Good Morning My Beloved,

Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We are so very grateful for our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, we are so thankful that you are all with us today. We continue to lift all of you up in prayer, and ask that you would also pray for us.

God's grace is arguably the most important concept for you to understand and live by in the battle to be godly. Because it is so important, we should understand how it works in our lives, the enemy of our souls has created much confusion and controversy on this subject. However, if you can fight your way clear in understanding and applying God’s grace, you will experience a close relationship with God and consistent victory over sin. 

I believe it is safe to safe that God’s grace permeated Paul’s thinking, apart from God's grace, he
could not fathom Christian truth and conduct, even going so far as to persecute them. As Christians, we cannot even begin to consider our salvation apart from God's amazing grace! Grace
runs counter to the way the world, perhaps, that's why it’s so difficult for us to grasp. The world works on a merit system However, there is nothing that we can do to earn God's grace!

Sadly, many professing Christians wrongly think that God’s grace, means get out of Hell free, that somehow allows us to continue in sin, with no consequences for disobedience. If you emphasize the need to obey God’s commandments or do good works, they call you a legalist. If you warn them that their misconceptions of sin will result in God’s discipline, they simply do not want to hear it. Their mantra is, "My god would never do that!"  or "I just don't believe that, that's not my religious beliefs. I’m under grace, and not the law." For them, grace means little more than permission for continuing in sinful living. 
Beloved, these are serious misconceptions of God’s grace, with eternal consequences.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father,
Father, as always, we are so grateful for the truth in Your Word. I pray that You would help us to understand these important truths, that You would bind them to our hearts, that we would make application to our lives, that our lives would exalt Christ and bring glory to You. Thank You for Your saving grace, that saved save us from the power and penalty of sin.

Lord, help us to live our lives, that the world will take notice, that we are so obviously transformed that everyone can see Your saving power at work in us. May we never, seen as those who say they follow Christ but deny Him by their lives of disobedience, which are detestable and worthless to You. May we be so consumed with a passion for Your truth, pursuing lives of goodness, righteousness and holiness, that will be visible to the world, that even one more might be saved.
Father, we pray for those who have not yet come to Christ,  that You would soften their hardened hearts, open their eyes and ears, so that today might be that day, that heavens rejoice.
We pray this in Christ's name

Today's Message: Then Grace Appeared

I believe that God's grace and Christ's gift of Himself, should be sufficient in compelling us to live a lives dedicated to Him, that adorn His Word, that bring honor and glory to His name. As Christian we ares to pursue lives that are respectable and dignified. God's gift of grace is the very reason why every one of us in God's family can and should live a Christian sanctified life.
The power to live as a Christian comes from the Holy Spirit. Because Christ died and rescued us, saving us from the penalty of sin, freeing us from sin's control. God graciously gives us the power, wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to live according to His will and to do good, and look forward to Christ's glorious return with eager expectation and hope.
Open with me your Bibles to the book of Titus 2,verses 11 through 14.  As we continue in our study of Paul's marvelous letter to Titus, in our passage we find the actions required that one must take, when he is striving to give himself to Christ as God requires in His Word. By the grace that belong the believer, only through his salvation, every man can pursue a life and adorn himself as God requires. God's entire plan of redemption is rooted deeply in His grace!  
I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts for God's Word. Titus 2:11-14

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."
Since we are a new creation in Christ, we are to live a transformed life. And, since we are to live a transformed life, we must shed the old ways of our former corrupt life. Allow me to boldly say, there is no such things as half saved and half lost! You're either saved or you're unsaved, and your life will clearly be marked by the evidence of one or the other. When you are born again, there is a rebirth, and there is to be a progression that takes place, as you begin to grow into the image of Christ. 
If you are saved, God has promised in His Word, to conform you to the image of Christ. God has graciously provided us with everything we need to live a transformed life!

In II Corinthians 4:16, Paul says " Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."
And, in Colossians 3:9-10, we're told "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
Ephesians 4:20- 24 teaches "But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."
Look, I do not proclaim to be the spitting image of Christ, but by the grace of God, and the power and knowledge of the Holy Spirit, I am a heck of a lot closer than I've ever been. That's the whole point, when you became a Christian, you ceased to be the old man and you became a new man. And day by day by day, you grow in knowledge and wisdom of Christ, being transformed into the image of Christ. There is not two of you, there’s only one of you, a new one. Therefore, we are to live like it, the things of old are to be discarded, they are to be put aside. If you possess eternal life, if there has been an inward transformation, then there had ought to be an outward manifestation.
The Apostle Paul writes in verses 11-12, "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age" "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men." what a beautiful truth, and as you may or may not have noticed by now, it is one I am rather passionate about. I am concerned about the condition of your eternal souls. Just to clear something up, not "all men, " have heard the gospel, therefore, salvation is offered to all that hear of it.That's where we come it, we are to make sure, that as many hear as will listen.

Because people cannot save themselves so it is God's grace, that  brought salvation to lost and fallen humanity. This salvation was not brought about by man but appeared , which is the Greek word, "epephanē,"meaning to show forth, to appear, in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

God's grace is His active favor in bestowing the greatest gift upon those who deserve great punishment. God in His grace gave His Son to redeem those in the bondage of sin. His grace, the glorious grace that brings salvation, is for all men who will receive it. Salvation is at the door of every man's heart since the grace of God has appeared to all of them. God, in His grace offers salvation to every one however, many will reject it, they will not respond to the grace of God which shines into human darkness. It’s the idea of grace suddenly shining forth into the moral darkness. We can't just go out and get it; God brings it to us. It is because God loves the whole world , that His plan for redemption is readily available to all men. It’s available to all, however, you must choose to receive it. It must be received, in order that the power of the Holy Spirit be activated in your life. 

John 1:12-13 says "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

In other words, Grace is everything for nothing to those who don’t deserve anything. Grace is being given not what we deserve but what we need. It is God’s active favor whereby His greatest gift is bestowed upon those who have deserved the greatest punishment.

We were in opposition to God, we were at odds. The fact that we are made right with God is by an act of grace, not by some ritual or works that we do. Here is the thing many Christians today need to understand; we are not worthy, we don’t deserve it and we can never earn it. You can’t borrow, bribe or barter for it, because it's a gift. When someone gives you a gift, you don't pay for, you receive it. That's the beauty of a gift, you just receive it.

When Martin Luther was ordered to recant what he had written he refused: "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen." Salvation is by grace; its by God's grace, otherwise God would not get the glory. As we look back upon the grace that appeared at Christ's first coming, as we look ahead to the glory that awaits, we have been given the power to live a life pleasing to God. Hope, is what helps us to keep going. Allow me to boldly say, this is not an imaginary hope as some have implied, it is a visible hope, because He will return bodily; and it is a glorious hope because we will finally see Him in His glory. The grace of God teaches us to be godly and His coming glory is an incentive for us to be involved in doing what is good.

As a footnote, the hope that we as Christians possess, is not like the hope of those in the world, a hope that is a dead end, its going nowhere. Our hope, is a promise. A hope that God, Himself, has promised us in His Word! Our hopes must rest on the Blessed Hope, not in a person or political party. Now, I know that's a little off topic, however, I believe that it is imperative that we understand that. Therefore, we are to spread the Good News to those who have no hope.

In I John 3:2-3, John the Baptizer, said "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

The coming of Jesus Christ was the light of the grace of God’s salvation dawning upon this sin filled, broken and fallen world. While I believe that we can lament the fact that our country is beginning to look more and more like Crete every day, however, allow me to remind you, that Jesus Christ is coming again to receive those who belong to Him, so we should be fired up to make a difference in our world, bringing as many as we can with us!

The entire human race could rightly expect, that they would be punished for their sins. But God — I love that— But God, in an offer of mercy, has stepped down from His Judgment Throne of Glory, to take upon Himself the guilt and penalty for our sin, His payment satisfied justice and made it possible to bestow His mercy upon us,  the wretched hell-bound sinner, that we are. Beloved, we are still living in the age of grace. In other words, God is withholding His judgment, His punishment because He doesn't not want any of us to perish. But soon, the period of grace will be over and it will be time to "pay the price" for your sin. However, you need to understand, that we must acknowledge our sinfulness to God and put our faith in Jesus Christ, Who has already taken the penalty for your sin upon Himself. But you must choose to accept it. And, if you die without receiving Christ as Savior, or if He returns and you've rejected Him, the time for His grace will be over and you will be judged for all your sin. I need you to get that.

Verse 13-14 says "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds."

God's grace does so much more than just save us, it instructs us. It trains us how to live. So it is not enough to simply renounce our sinful and evil desires; we must also actively live for God. We must not only fight against lust and temptation, but we must receive grace to involve our self in active service for Christ. Christ's death was an sacrifice that was made for us, because we could not make it ourselves. Christ gave Himself over death as an offering to atone for sins, and He was resurrected, that we may have eternal life.

In I Peter 1:18-19, Peter says "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

God helps us to say no in some situations and yes in others. When we must bear a heavy burden, handle a difficult situation, or witness to a neighbor, His grace enables us to say yes and to do it in His strength. God's grace not only strengthens us to say yes to many difficult areas of obedience, but also to say no to overwhelming temptation.

Grace instructs us so that we may live consecrated lives while looking for the Blessed Hope. We are to be living in expectation of Christ's return, our only hope and glory is beyond this world. Our hope rests upon Christ's Second Appearing. Grace that enables us to say yes to Christ, and enables us to say no to sin.

In Closing....

Christ's blood purifies us and makes us God's own special possession. God's action in Christ purified and made us His peculiar people, now, peculiar does not mean odd or strange, but special people that are possessed by God and not by this present age. Therefore, our speech, actions and lifestyles should reflect Christ's qualities. We are to emulate Jesus to the world, and when we behave like Jesus, we will show love, kindness, patience, and forgiveness to others, even those who are deserving of it. Just as we ourselves have not deserved. However, it is those characteristics , that will set us apart from those in our society who spend much of their time looking out only for themselves. So I encourage you to remember the price that Jesus paid to redeem you from your sins. 

Paul says in II Corinthians 5:21, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Christians have lived for over twenty centuries with the hope that they will witness the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Today, we are closer than we have ever been

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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